2017 'Leopold' Reserve Shiraz-Viognier


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A traditional blend of the Côte Rôtie appellation of the northern Rhône Valley where cooler climate Shiraz/Syrah is co-fermented with small quantities of Viognier to accentuate floral and red fruit characters and smooth out the edges. Due to our cool climate, the co-fermentation with Viognier was an obvious choice with a focus on combining the texture and structure of our Shiraz, with the vibrancy and aromatics of Viognier to produce and a beautiful, long finish. 


The vineyard is located above Rylstone in the Central Ranges GI of NSW (40km southeast of Mudgee, 70km northeast of Bathurst). It was planted in 1998 by Richard & Janet de Beaurepaire, with a mixture of Bordeaux, Rhône, and Burgundy varieties with the intention of selling most of the grapes whilst organically growing wine production. The decision to plant the vineyard at this location over other established winegrowing regions (including family winemaking operations in the Yarra Valley) was due to the similarity of the terroir to Burgundy – the home of the de Beaurepaire family. The vineyard is in a mountain valley, 150 kilometres from the coast in the Great Dividing Range. It is planted on North facing slopes rising from the Cudgegong River to an altitude of 650m. Geologically, the vineyard is planted on an Ordovician-era (450 MY ago) coral reef with shallow sandy and sandy-loam soils on limestone. The limestone was mined nearby until recently by Kandos Cement. The altitude, distance from ocean and poor heat retention of the soil and limestone, creates an inland continental climate as cool as Central Otago in New Zealand and Tasmania in Australia during the growing season with extreme diurnal variation – late Sept/Oct Budburst, Jan/Feb Veraison and March/April Harvest.


Vintage Conditions: Budburst was 30 September 2016. The season started with very low soil moisture after a very dry winter. A wet middle of the season around and after Veraison in late January recovered yields but the dry weather returned toward harvest. It was overall a relatively cool vintage enabling an extended ripening period balancing out the acidity, tannin and flavour.

Harvest (yield): Individually selected parcels of Shiraz and Viognier were handpicked on 24 March 2017 with a Baume of 14.4. An average yield of 8 tonnes per hectare (43hl/ha). Shiraz sourced from A Block (oldest block in vineyard) from 19-year-old vines and Viognier sourced from C Block from 17-year-old vines


10% whole bunch and 50% whole berries cold soaked for 3 days and then co-fermented (as required by law in the Côte Rôtie AOC) in open vats. Punched down 3 times daily using 30% native (“wild”) and 70% Syrah (Côtes du Rhône) yeast for 13 days. AGING Final maturation was in a mixture of extra fine grained, medium toasted 30% new and 70% 2-year-old French (Seguin Moreau) hogsheads for 17 months and then lightly fined before bottling.

Analysis: pH 3.45, TA 6.2g/l, VA 0.45g/l, R/S 0.84


The cooler 2017 vintage produced a spice laden medium bodied wine. Spicy and exotic; dark-fruit, crème de cassis driven fleshy palate with fine grained tannins and hints of the white pepper and cloves. A powerful yet precise vintage with great cellaring potential.


A simple pan seared pork tenderloin or braised pork belly with a soy and maple syrup glaze and stir fried broccolini and green beans with baby carrots would be delicious. Grilled venison or duck, mushrooms and terrine. Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder (possibly Moroccan spiced) accompanied by Polenta Cake, Creme Fraiche and Salsa Verde.


Cellaring Potential: 25-30 years (2042-2047)

Serving Temperature: 17 to 18 degrees C / 63 to 65 degrees F

VARIETAL MIX: 95% Shiraz (Syrah), 5% Viognier

GI: Central Ranges (Rylstone)